A day after the violent face-off between the police and protesters over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student, the government managed to contain the protests which continued in muted forms at Jantar Mantar here on Monday.
With all connecting roads to India Gate blocked and nine metro stations around Jantar Mantar shut down, traffic was thrown completely out of gear and commuters had a tough time travelling to their workplaces. Busy metro stations such as Rajiv Chowk, Race Course, Udyog Bhavan, Khan Market and Pragati Maidan, that were close to Central government offices remained shut and employees had to walk long distances to their offices.
Earlier in the morning, the police had prevented the protesters from marching towards India Gate and instead diverted them to Jantar Mantar which is the only spot that has been exempted from prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr.PC.
The protesters, which mostly included students with no apparent political affiliation besides the All-India Students’ Association (AISA) and All-India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), shouted slogans against the government alleging that it has completely failed to ensure safe public space to women and justice to victims of sexual assault.
Under pressure for visible action due to relentless protests, Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna announced immediate suspension of Assistant Commissioners of Police Mohan Singh and Yad Ram for failure to prevent the gruesome incident. Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said the charge-sheet in the case would be filed in the next seven days.
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Victim still critical
Releasing the health bulletin of the gang rape victim, Safdarjung Hospital Medical Superintendent B.D. Athani said: “The patient is conscious, critical and is still not out of danger. She continues to be on the ventilator and has high grade fever which could be because of the sepsis and is a matter of concern. There has been no improvement in her condition.’’